Global Times recently reported that the Japanese government officially introduced export control measures for semiconductor manufacturing equipment, which will be implemented on July 23. China’s Ministry of Commerce responded on the same day that this is an abuse of export control measures and a serious departure from free trade and international economic and trade rules. China firmly opposes this. Japan announced in late March this year that it would amend the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law to strengthen export controls on 23 items of chip manufacturing equipment in an effort to “cooperate with the United States to prevent technology from flowing to China and being transferred to military use.” According to the Japanese Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Industry, the restricted scope includes semiconductor cleaning, thin film deposition, heat treatment, etching, product inspection and more.The Japanese Minister of the Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura previously stated that “this is not aimed at any specific country.” However, considering the latest export management trends of countries related to semiconductor manufacturing equipment, public opinion believes that this is a measure against China. While Japan’s restrictions on semiconductors are less extensive than in the United States, about ten Japanese manufacturers will be affected to some extent by the new rules. The spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce of China stated that the measures announced will seriously damage the interests of Chinese and Japanese companies, seriously damage the Sino-Japanese economic and trade cooperation, disrupt the global semiconductor industry structure, and impact the stability of the global industrial supply chain.
(1) Global Times, May 24, 2023
(2) Xinhua, May 23, 2023